The Fool, The Magician, and Laughing With the Angels.

Playfulness as a major force in the universe.

I was watching a Sonia Choquette video recently that was about getting in touch with our spirit guides and angels.  She made the point that the first step in that is to get in touch with our own spirits, because spirit talks to spirit.  And she also said that sometimes our spirits are NOT hanging out in our bodies.  The basic idea is that, if we are constantly depressed, angry, and fearful, then our spirits don’t really WANT to be in our bodies because our bodies are so toxic.  Who wants to hang out in a room full of anger and sadness?  Who wants to hang out in a body full of anger and sadness?

Huh . . .

The cure for that is – surprise – to be happy.  Laugh, play, be light.  Make our bodies and minds into places where our spirits want to be.

It started me thinking about two Tarot cards, The Fool and The Magician.  Not the cards from the Waite Tarot deck, which was designed in the early 20th century, but the original, older portrayals from the 14th and 15th centuries.   The portrayals in the Waite deck are stunningly beautiful, but, in some ways, are not at all consistent with the original meanings of the cards.

Here, for instance, we have the Waite version of The Fool.  He/she is a beautiful, elegant, sexually indeterminate youth who is dancing along the edge of a chasm while a little dog dances beside him.  The basic meaning of the card is someone who is so high on cosmic energy, so in tune with universal energies that if he dances off of the cliff, he’ll just keep on dancing on thin air.

Now compare that to The Fool from the old Marseille Tarot deck.  This Fool is kind of a scruffy looking dude wearing the actual clothing of a Fool from the medieval royal courts.  The dog has torn a hole in his britches and he’s not even watching where he’s going.  He’s wearing a funny hat and he has jingle bells hanging off his cloak.

Not exactly elegant, is he?

But he does remind us of the original Fool who would entertain the royal courts.  He had a very, very special status in those courts because he was the only one who was actually allowed to laugh at and make fun of the King.  He was considered sort of a mad idiot, someone who had either been cursed or blessed by the gods with a somewhat insane, totally irreverent sense of humor.  His purpose was to mock the pompous and remind the all-too-serious that life can be seen as a joke.

The same point of view was taken of what we remember in our language as, “the village idiot.”  We might think of him as someone who was perhaps mentally deficient or brain damaged.  To the villagers, however, he was seen as someone who had been touched by the finger of god, someone who was viewed as a blessing to the village and so should be fed and cared for, for free.  He was a treasure in large part because he made people laugh and get in touch with their love.

Again, look at The Magician from the Waite deck.  Once more, we see a thoroughly elegant, physically beautiful individual who is very much in charge of his magic.  This is a master of the occult, a Wise Being who channels magic from the astral realm into the physical plane.  

Contrast that with The Magician from the older decks.  This Magician looks a little clumsy.  He, too, is dressed in Fools clothing and isn’t paying attention to what he’s doing.  Displayed on the table before him is a cup and dice and coins, and other random items.  Far from being the magical symbols that we see in the Waite Magician card, these look like things he might have dug out of his pockets and we almost wonder if there might be a few balls of lint scattered in there.

The older Magician was not a master occultist.  The older magician was a street entertainer, much like the stage magicians that we see today.  He might not be sawing women in half or disappearing into a magical box, but he could still put on a hell of a show.  He could make the dice do what he wanted them to do and he probably wasn’t above taking a few pennies from people who couldn’t guess which cup the pea was under.

He was a flim-flam man.  An illusionist.  Someone who knew how to shuffle a deck of cards and astonish us by picking out the Ace of Spades every single time.

He was fun.

That’s what’s missing in the newer, Waite deck portrayals of these two cards.  The sense of fun.  The sense of goofiness.  The sense that life really isn’t supposed to be taken all that seriously and a lot of it is just plain silly. 

Here’s a radical proposition:  what if angels like to play?  What if angels actually have a rip roaring, hilarious sense of humor?  What if that’s the vibration that they actually exist on:  laughter and play?  So then think of the Western approach to prayer.  You know how we get all serious and somber and . . . church like . . . when we pray?  Prayer, after all, is a VERY SERIOUS business.  We all know that, because we’ve been in churches and people weren’t doing a hell of a lot of laughing.

But suppose . . . just suppose . . . that everytime we get all serious and somber, we automatically tune out our angels and guides?  Just like changing to a channel that they’re not broadcasting on.  They’re still there.  They’re still wanting to help us.  But we just tuned them out by completely losing our sense of humor.

It could be that laughter and play are underlying forces in the universe and when we’re playing, we’re in harmony with our true nature and our Higher Selves.  Think of little kids and puppies and kittens.  These are beings who have JUST transported in from the other side and what do they do all day?  They play.  They play and play and play until they fall over exhausted and then, when they wake up, they play some more.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if, by being SO serious about our spirituality, we were turning our backs on our spirituality?  Maybe we need to set up some playgrounds in our churches.  Maybe we need to find some pastors and priests and rabbis and mullahs who can tell a good joke.

Maybe we need to lighten the fuck up.

Laughter lights us up inside, sometimes like a warm, glowing candle and sometimes like fireworks, but it always brings light and lightness.  Laugh and get en-lightened.  Works for me.

Author: Dan Adair

Artist, writer, semi-retired wizard, and the author of, "Just the Tarot," by Dan Adair

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